Wanda Wilson must not hold a grudge. Three years ago, she was hit by a foul ball during spring training in Florida that came off the bat of Denard Span — who happens to be her son. Ms. Wilson was just sore afterward, but as someone who also accidentally has smashed his mom's windshield with a foul ball in Little League, let me tell you, they don't let you forget stuff like this.
Flash forward to Sunday, with the Washington Nationals taking on the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Span played for the Twins in 2010, but he's a Nat now, and he's struggled this season, batting .264/.315/.363. Everybody's probably giving Span advice, too, but get a load of this:
Denard Span said his mom sent him a text last night telling him to swing at the first pitch more often. His homer today: first-pitch change.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) August 25, 2013
That's right; Span connected on the first pitch in the seventh inning against Ervin Santana for a solo home run. Span actually went 4 for 5 on the day, with three of his hits coming on the first pitch. Just like mom, who raised Span and his brother Ray as a single parent, told him.
The Nats already have changed hitting coaches this season, and with five weeks or so left in the regular season, adding Wanda Wilson to Davey Johnson's staff probably is a long shot. And in the long run, Span probably would be better off seeing more pitches, not fewer. But in order to get the bat going, sometimes you have to try different approaches.
And no matter what, it always makes sense to listen to mom.
Big BLS H/N: Hardball Talk
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